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Mastering the Art of Interviewing: Dos and Don'ts

Today I had the pleasure of training on interview dos and don’ts in our free monthly webinar series. In the dynamic world of recruitment, the interview serves as a pivotal moment where the paths of employer and candidate intersect. It's a critical juncture where the right questions, the right demeanor, and the right environment can illuminate a candidate's potential like a beacon in the night. Conversely, missteps in the interview process can obscure the brightest of talents or lead to regrettable hires. Certainly: In the end, hiring a toxic employee can result in financial losses, legal expenses, increased turnover among both employees and customers, and other detrimental consequences.

 

Why Interviews Matter:

 

Interviews aren't just about exchanging pleasantries or reviewing qualifications; they are about forging connections, assessing compatibility, and predicting future success. A well-conducted interview can unearth hidden talents, reveal nuanced insights, and ultimately lead to the perfect match between employer and employee.

 

Conversely, a poorly executed interview can sow seeds of doubt, perpetuate biases, and squander valuable opportunities. Whether it's asking the wrong questions, failing to listen attentively, or succumbing to unconscious biases, the pitfalls of ineffective interviewing can reverberate long after the interview room door has closed.

 

Here are some tips to successfully interview for your company:

 

 Dos:

1.    Prepare Thoroughly:

  • Research the candidate's background.

  • Familiarize yourself with their resume and relevant work experience.

  • Prepare a list of questions tailored to the role and candidate's experience.

  • Conducting phone interviews helps save time for both hiring personnel and candidates, preventing unnecessary delays.

 

2.    Create a Comfortable Environment:

  • Set a welcoming tone to help candidates feel at ease.

  • Stand up when the candidate enters the room.

  • Put cell phones away.

  • Provide clear directions and explanations about the interview process.

  • Offer refreshments and breaks if necessary.

 

3.    Active Listening:

  • Pay attention to the candidate's responses without interruption.

  • Ask follow-up questions to clarify or delve deeper into their answers.

  • Show genuine interest in what the candidate has to say. Remember, non-verbal communication is 80% of the conversation.

 

 4.    Use Behavioral Interviewing Techniques:

  • Ask questions that require candidates to provide specific examples of past experiences.

  • Focus on assessing their skills, abilities, and fit for the role based on real-world scenarios.

 

5.    Make decisions quickly to move to the next step:

  • In a competitive labor market with low unemployment rates and a ratio of one job seeker to every five open positions, a prolonged recruiting process risks diminishing your candidate pool and may result in top-tier candidates receiving job offers elsewhere before your interviewing process concludes.

 

 Don'ts:

1.    Don't Wing It:

  • Avoid conducting interviews without proper preparation.

  • Lack of preparation can lead to ineffective questioning and evaluation.

  • Understand the federal, state, and local laws and regulations.

 

2.    Don't Make Assumptions:

  • Avoid making judgments based on biases or stereotypes.

  • Evaluate candidates solely on their qualifications and merit.

 

3.    Don't Be Disorganized:

  • Stick to a structured interview format to ensure consistency.

  • Keep track of key points and responses for later evaluation.

  • Use scorecards to keep track of the questions and the responses.

 

4.    Don't Dominate the Conversation:

  • Allow candidates to speak and express themselves fully.

  • Avoid interrupting or talking over them.

  • Allow time for the candidate to ask questions at the end.

 

6.    Don't Forget Follow-Up:

  • Keep them informed about the next steps in the hiring process such as the date the company plans to make a hiring decision.

  • After the interview, follow up with candidates promptly.

  • Send the candidate a Thank-You card.  Show your brand!

 

In the realm of recruitment, where the quest for talent meets the pursuit of opportunity, the interview stands as a pivotal moment of connection and discovery. From meticulous preparation to active listening, from fostering a welcoming environment to avoiding common pitfalls, we've explored the essential elements that can elevate the interview experience for both interviewer and candidate alike.


By embracing these principles, we empower ourselves to conduct interviews with professionalism, empathy, and integrity – traits that are as essential to success in the interview room as they are in the workplace at large.



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